Friday, October 03, 2008

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Since we've been consumed with puppy-land of late, today I thought I'd update you on the rest of the gang.

Master Ridge, our oldest, our sire, and King of the Canine Clan (without a doubt), is just a big baby, and becoming more so the longer he's with us (it's four years now). For all his broo-ha-ha and bravado, he's just a little lover like Labs should be:

Master Tucson (Tuc) is still awfully cute (what a face!) and still great fun to have around. He's Mr. Happy-Affectionate, like Kenya, with what appears to be indomitable optimism and unending devotion to his humans. Life is just good, no matter what, as far as Tuc is concerned:

Right now he's longer in body than he is tall, so he's looking every bit the gangly pre-adolescent puppy. :o)

As a pre-adolescent, Tuc is still a bigger imp than the other four were combined. Fyi, that's a needlepoint seat cushion he's holding in his mouth below. DH -- yes, DH -- stitched this cover nearly thirty years ago (DH's mother is an avid needlepointer). It depicts the three rivers in downtown Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh is DH's hometown). You can bet Tuc didn't have that in his mouth for long:

He is also still King of the Recliner, well...except when Baxter comes to visit (Baxter will never be dethroned!):

As the months go by, the Tucmeister continues to learn his place in the pack, although he doesn't always like what that means and will protest loudly when he doesn't! Here he is protesting the fact that Pinot has a bone that he wants to have (he doesn't want his, of course, he wants Pinot's):

Though attentive to her pups when she needs to be, Elsie is back to being our girl again, often taking breaks from her litter:

And she naps as she can (in this picture, she's in the corner of the whelping box, snoring like a freigh train while here pups nurse):

Everybody still competes for lap time, in this case Pinot and Elsie (it gets a little crazy when all five want lap time at the same time!):

And all are immensely jealous of the camera (what a hoot! -- whenever I pull the camera out to take a picture of one of the canine kids, the others jump right in like they're saying "what about me, what about me?" ). This is Kenya up on the coffee table (she knows better) mugging for the camera while I'm trying to get a shot of Elsie with DH:

Kenya and Pinot continue to be enthralled by the pups in the whelping box. Both seem to have very strong mothering instincts:

And little Pinot (our Ridge-Elsie pup from late August 2007's litter) is becoming a sweet young lady: gentle, eager-to-please, snuggly, affectionate, smart, energetic. At just over a year old she still lapses in her behavior now and then, of course, but over all she is shaping up nicely. And she desperately wants to be a big sister (or mom) to Elsie's litter:

She's also become quite the snuggler, something we enjoy and encourage (I know -- you folks who raise working dogs don't allow dogs on furniture at all, and that's a great thing and a necessary part of their training. At our house, however, this is the one place we spoil our gang, and it's more for us than them !):

Though sweet as sweet can be, Pinot can more than hold her own with Tuc, playing fiercely with him as she needs to, always reminding him who's who in the gang:

And Tuc is minding her. :o) She's going to make a great mom someday (if all goes well with her testing next year):

And me?

Well, let's just say that since the pups have come out of the woods and I don't have to worry about losing any of them anymore, I'm enjoying them more than ever.

And DSD, the EMT, tells me my blood pressure is down to where it should be.

See...snuggling these guys really is therapeutic!

'Til next time,


Cheryl said...

I look forward, everyday, to checking in to see what the whole family is up to. Just LOVE all of those pics!

Anonymous said...

Any news on the official results of Kenya's testing? Will there be future Kenya/Ridge litters?

Anonymous said...

Hey...I've been watching for awhile without commenting...glad things are out of the woods...Congrats Grandma!....if I had the money and a rental that would allow dogs...I'd put in for one...its pupply love from afar....and I'm glad your BP is down!...


JuliaR said...

Boy we can all use some therapy now and then. Wonderful pix and stories, thanks.

L^2 said...

Very glad to hear everyone is doing well! :-)

Mary said...

I just love the fact you have lap time for your labs and you let them on the furniture. We are training our sweet lab girl Hope to be a Search and Rescue dog (doing very well with it thank you) and we still let her sit on our lap and cuddle with us on the bed. Seems to me, it makes them more willing to work for you and have an even more gentle spirit. So, you continue to love on your canine kids, especially those puppies!